In this winner of the University of Johannesburg Debut Prize in 2012, Inspector Albertus Beeslaar—a white police officer—has abandoned tough Johannesburg for a backwater post but finds himself back in the thick of it when his new community is rocked by a crime syndicate. Beeslaar works to train rookie local cops—who are black—stirring racial tensions among those who share a common goal of peace.
This arresting English-language debut from South African crime author Brynard validates her reputation as 'The Afrikaans Stieg Larsson' ... Brynard brings a strong, authentic voice to the country’s conflict-ridden past and its current complex society and entangled land claims. A brilliant ensemble cast, well-measured suspense, straightforward dialogue, and nice pacing add up to an outstanding thriller. Fans of other South African authors, from James McClure to Deon Meyer, will relish Brynard’s new and distinctive voice, although readers should be prepared for the book’s gritty and, at times, gruesome details.
Brynard...really knows how to present controversial topics that will trigger hot debates among those living in present-day South Africa ... The author could not quite resist a lecture about the history of the Griqua people, which interrupts the narrative flow and is not strictly necessary for the plot, although I enjoyed the education in a nutshell. Nevertheless, this is a very promising start to a series that pulls no punches about the challenges of living in a complicated post-apartheid society, simmering with rivalry and tensions. You will enjoy the complex, believable and flawed characters and the hint of a backstory for Beeslaar which will hopefully be developed in future novels.
Weeping Waters is a deeply moving detective story. Its stark setting is defined as much by South Africa’s troubled racial relationships—white, black, and Bushmen alike—as by its landscape ... The story is unhurried, at times downright slow, as the tapestry of people and culture is woven, a weakness overcome by the tale’s rich characterization, particularly that of Beeslaar, and the mystery’s satisfying conclusion.